Tractor trailer accidents can have devastating consequences. These accidents are far more likely to result in serious and fatal injuries than collisions between passenger vehicles, and the consequences of being seriously injured or losing a loved one can extend to all aspects of your life.
In cases where negligence is a factor, tractor trailer accident victims and their loved ones are entitled to compensation for all of the financial and non-financial effects of the crash. While it is not possible to predict the amount you may be able to recover without knowing the details of your case, it is important to understand the types of damages that may be recoverable in your claim.
A Kingston truck accident lawyer at O’Connor & Partners, PLLC can review your case and advise you how much you may be entitled to recover. Contact us for a free case review.
Damages in Tractor Trailer Accident Claims Involving Serious Injuries
As the victim of a tractor trailer accident in New York, recovering your losses will most likely involve filing a claim against the truck driver and/or the trucking company – although one or more third parties may be liable as well.
The compensation you may be able to recover depends on the injuries you have sustained and the damages you have incurred as a result. You may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Medical Expenses – All costs for transportation, diagnosis, treatment, therapy, counseling, prescriptions, and other medical needs resulting from the accident.
- Lost Earnings – Loss of income and benefits through the date that your claim settles or goes to verdict.
- Loss of Earning Capacity – Your anticipated future lost earnings resulting from any long-term or permanent disability you suffer as a result of the accident.
- Pain and Suffering – The physical pain and suffering you endure (and are likely to endure) as a result of your injuries, both while your claim is pending and in the future.
- Emotional Anguish – Any anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and other psychological effects you experience as a result of the accident.
- Loss of Consortium – The loss of your ability to maintain a physical or emotional relationship with your spouse, the loss of your ability to parent and spend meaningful time with your children, and/or loss of companionship with select other family members.
- Property Damage – The cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, as well as the cost to replace any personal items that were damaged or destroyed in the accident.
These damages constitute both economic and non-economic losses. An experienced truck accident lawyer can calculate all of the losses in your case and pursue a claim for full compensation.
Damages in Tractor Trailer Accident Cases Involving Death
In claims involving fatal tractor trailer accidents, understanding your legal rights is slightly more complicated. This is because, in wrongful death cases, New York law allows for the recovery of both (i) the victim’s losses prior to death and (ii) eligible family members’ personal losses resulting from the accident.
With this in mind, recoverable damages in fatal tractor trailer accident cases may include:
- The Victim’s Medical Expenses – All costs for transportation, diagnosis, and treatment prior to death.
- Conscious Pain and Suffering – The victim’s physical pain and suffering prior to death.
- Funeral, Burial, and Cremation Costs – All costs incurred for the victim’s funeral, burial or cremation, and other services.
- Loss of Future Earnings – The loss of the victim’s future earning potential as experienced by eligible family members, including earnings, benefits, pension payments, and income from other sources.
- Various Types of Non–Financial Losses – Loss of consortium, care, and protection, and other non-financial losses experienced by eligible family members.
In cases involving both fatal and non-fatal injuries, calculating the compensation that is available requires an in-depth understanding of the actual and expected costs – both financial and non-financial – that the victim and his or her loved ones may endure. Financial losses are calculated based on actual and expected expenses, while non-financial losses can be calculated either on a “per diem” basis or as a multiple of the financial compensation that is pursued.
What About Punitive Damages?
Are punitive damages available in tractor trailer accident cases in New York? It depends. In order to pursue a claim for punitive damages, it is necessary to prove that the at-fault party (i.e., the truck driver or trucking company) made a mistake that was so extreme, egregious, or immoral as to warrant punishment.
While punitive damages awards are relatively rare, they are a possibility in cases involving impaired driving, intentional safety violations, and other similarly reckless types of misconduct.
Contact a Kingston Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a collision with a tractor trailer, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Liability in truck accident claims is complex, and the damages can be significant. When your recovery is on the line, it is important to take action as soon as possible.
The attorneys at O’Connor & Partners, PLLC have over 150 years of combined experience serving clients in serious accident cases. We have earned millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients who have been injured or lost loved ones in vehicle crashes.
Please call (845) 303-8777 today for a free case review. Our Kingston truck accident lawyers serve clients in Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, and other areas of New York.